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Criminal Appeals

  1. Once in a great while, a meritorious appeal can be had after a plea of guilty and sentencing – more typically in federal court, due to use of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. However, the vast majority of criminal appellate law is practiced after the defendant is found guilty by a jury and sentenced.
  2. On direct appeal, the defendant in District Court has 30 days to file a Notice of Appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. This is typically done immediately after entry of the criminal judgment (which, in Nevada, is almost always on the date of the in-court sentencing). In Federal Court, the time is even shorter: 10 days.
  3. On direct appeal, as a general rule, the appellant can only raise issues which were raised to the court below and decided against the criminal appellant. Occasionally, the criminal appellant can raise a “plain error” issue. Mr. Cornell explains it to his clients this way: “The Nevada Supreme Court (or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit) is like Ebert & Roeper, and the trial judge is like Francis Ford Coppola. And in 1980, they would review the “Apocalypse Now” movie that was made in 1979, not the one that ‘should have been made in 2001’.”
  4. Statistics tells us that only 10 percent or so of all appeals are successful. Or, to extend the analogy, “Ebert & Roeper go ‘thumbs up’ 90 percent of the time.” There are specific reasons for that. As a general rule, Mr. Cornell has done better than that figure ? but, unlike the public defender, he has the luxury of picking the cases that he chooses to appeal. (In 2002, Mr. Cornell won six criminal appeals in the Nevada Supreme Court, and his “batting average” was better than Manny Ramirez’! (i.e., better than .347 percent))(but not as good as Barry Bonds’!)

[NOTE: Would like link created for each case listed to go to respective case description below] 

See: United States v. Ritter, 981 F.2d 318 (9th Cir. 1993); Batin v. State, 118 Nev. Ad.Op. 7, 38 P.3d 880 (2002); Love v. State, 111 Nev. 545, 893 P.2d 376 (1995); Labastida v. State, 115 Nev. 298, 986 P.2d 443 (1999);